JOHN Kear admits the blank in the international calendar will whet the appetite for next year’s World Cup.

Australia’s tour, scheduled for the end of this season, is in jeopardy with the current shutdown.

There will also be huge question marks over whether the European Championship qualifiers can be played once the season is able to resume.

Bulls coach Kear, who also heads the Wales side, is gutted at the prospect of missing out on international action. But he insists it is vital everything is structured around next October’s World Cup.

Kear said: “I’d be sad to cancel the Ashes series and European Championships because I’m a big internationalist. But I think they’ll have to go anyway because of the travel restrictions.

“But you do that now and can start building towards the World Cup, which we can accommodate after an ‘ordinary’ 2021 season.

“I obviously love international rugby and would love to see the Ashes and the European Championship played.

“But the World Cup is the shining light and has to take place. We must organise everything around that, because it’s a time when all the eyes are on rugby league.”